Design Ideas and Process
For the Illustrator task of drawing vector objects, we had to create a social media banner for the podcast by Yaa Gyasi: Homecoming. The first thing I did in the design process was research more into what the podcast was about. After seeing that this novel turned podcast spanned over 300 years following the lives of two sisters and the generations below them and their struggle with slavery, it was important to me to portray these themes in the advert of the banner. I also had listened to the start of the podcast to help me better understand the project I was designing.
My next step was to look at other examples of the cover of both the novel and the podcast. Although there where a couple of different variations of them, one commonality throughout was the use of the warm red, yellow and orange colours, particularly in the herringbone pattern. I decided this was something I was going to implement in my own design as to keep it recognisable to the podcast and to follow the brief whereby it should complement but not directly copy the cover design.
My first idea was to use the cover on a different layer to use the pen tool to create a silhouette of the character on the cover. At first I had just outlined the head, however with the key theme of the podcast being slavery and oppression, I wanted to add in the shackle around her neck as I felt this was an important feature that creates necessary tension within someone seeing the design.
One problem I encountered when using the pen tool was that I was struggling to get a perfect circle. To fix this instead fo using the pen tool I watch this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZZ0iYmgmvc which details how to use the pathfinder tool to combine objects. To achieve the final look I created an ellipse which I then combined with the illustration of the silhouette.
Although I found this effective, I still wanted to learn how to create a smooth ellipse using the pen tool as knowing how to do a task multiple different ways would come handy in the future. I read this article https://helpx.adobe.com/illustrator/how-to/draw-edit-curves.html and attempted to draw the ellipse and then covert and edit the points to create the same smooth effect which also worked however I find was a longer way of doing this.
Design Resources and Articles
Including the one mentioned above, I read different articles throughout this task to help not only refresh my knowledge on illustrator but to also learn new skills. One of the first ones I read was from the brief: https://helpx.adobe.com/uk/illustrator/how-to/drawing-tools-basics.html which really helped me form a basis of where to being on illustrator and what tools to use such as the pen tool which was the first tool I chose when creating this design.
As mentioned on my Trello board, I struggled with how to achieve my desired output for the pattern of the design. First I wanted to do this by drawing vector objects however realised this would be time consuming and ultimately lead to disproportioned blocks. https://creativebeacon.com/make-easy-grids-in-illustrator/ This article helped me create a grid that I could use to make it look as though the thoughts and feelings of the story are represented in this feature of the design as they are then coming from behind the silhouette of the head, or ‘her mind.’ Alongside this I used this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwaG6n37i2k to help me understand how to fill in certain portions of the grid with the different colours from the original cover.
Learning Across the Module
The skills I have learnt from this module can been seen throughout all of the different softwares. I feel more confident in Photoshop and Illustrator, particularly in Photoshop when it comes to editing and removing objects from pictures. This was the focus in my week 3 plan and I am happy with the outcome I produced whereby the feedback I received from peers was that the removal of the arms from the photos was very successful.
When comparing the quiz results I can see that my understanding of what software to use for each project has improved as this was something I identified as a weakness at the start of the Autumn and Spring term however now I feel I can confidently decide what software to use for when. One thing that the last two quizzes picked up on is that I need to work on are the specific features of the software such as what colour settings are best to use e.g. RGB and CYMK, along with how different resolutions affect the work. I feel as though this knowledge is something that can be easily learnt compared to learning all the different tools and what can be achieved in each of the softwares which will take practise to learn. In the future I am going to read more articles and watch videos on understanding colour schemes and basic document setups for adobe software as I think this will help me.